Is It Time to Cancel Bill Clinton?
Investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, whose work helped to bring down serial sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein, says that Juanita Broaddrick's accusation of rape against former President Bill Clinton is "overdue for revisiting."
Appearing on Bill Maher's Real Time on HBO Friday night, Farrow said that Clinton was "credibly accused of rape" by Broaddrick, who claimed in 1999 that Clinton raped her in a motel room in Arkansas in 1978. Clinton was the state attorney general at the time. Farrow added, "I’m heartened by the fact that people now routinely express outrage about Bill Clinton, and particularly those more serious allegations about him."
It's a long list of allegations -- and proven facts -- against the former president, some more serious than others, but always tawdry.
Paula Jones is probably the most famous, and certainly most consequential, of Clinton's accusers. Her 1994 sexual harassment lawsuit against then-President Clinton -- a first, IIRC -- set the stage for Clinton's impeachment. Among the facts uncovered in the Jones investigation was Clinton's (ahem) little office fling with a 22-year-old White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. You might have heard of her.
But back to Jones. According to her, an Arkansas state trooper named Danny Ferguson -- as governor, Clinton was not exactly discreet about using cops to procure his women -- approached Jones about a meeting with Clinton, then escorted her to a hotel room. There, Jones claimed, Clinton dropped trou, propositioned her, and when she refused he blocked the door and said, "You’re a smart girl — let’s keep this between ourselves." There was apparently some meat to Jones' accusation because Clinton finally settled with her in 1998 for a princely $850,000 payout.
But wait -- there's more.
Kathleen Willey, testifying under oath during the Jones investigation, said that Clinton sexually assaulted her right there in the Oval Office in 1993. Special Prosecutor Ken Starr determined that Willey had actually pursued a sexual relationship with Clinton, which seems a bit overeager on her part. Just wait long enough, ladies, and Clinton will get around to you soon enough.
That's not to say that all the inappropriateness was always warm and friendly. As Lewinsky wrote for Vanity Fair in 2014, "Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position." If you'll recall, the Clintons -- both of them -- virtually weaponized the entire White House apparatus against a young woman whose worst crime was getting caught servicing the president.
But there's still more.
Let's go all the way back to 1969 and Clinton's two-year-long Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford. There, Eileen Wellstone claimed Clinton sexually assaulted her. Clinton admitted to having sex with Wellstone, but said it was consensual. Strangely enough, Clinton cut short his two-year visit by a whole year.
Then there was Carolyn Moffet, who said Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1979, after finding him sans pants in a hotel room. Also, flight attendant Christy Zercher, who claimed that Clinton fondled her on a presidential campaign trip in '91. Apparently Hillary was on the same flight. Better known is Clinton's list of consensual affairs that's so long, you almost wonder where he found the time and energy to assault anyone.
While that's hardly a defense, let's not forget the Left's famous excuse for Clinton during his impeachment: "Everyone lies about sex." At one time or another, sure, of course, especially in high school. But hardly anyone lies about sex as president of the United States while under oath because decades of sexual misadventures landed them in a years-long sexual harassment suit. In fact, I can pretty much only think of just the one.
Good on Bill Maher then for asking Farrow, "Could Bill Clinton, if he had done what he did in 1998, survive today, or would his own party have thrown him under the bus?" And even better on Farrow for answering, "Bill Clinton is a different conversation... that has nothing to do with gray areas. I think that the Juanita Broaddrick claim has been overdue for revisiting." Indeed, let's revisit that just like Farrow suggests, and let the chips fall where they may.
After all that, I guess the only thing left to say to Farrow is: Cool, now do Al Gore.